Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BC LANDLORD TENANT RULES CHANGE

PROVINCE INCREASES PROTECTION
FOR TENANTS AND LANDLORDS


Landlords and tenants who fail to meet their responsibilities under the law will face tough consequences with new administrative penalties, Minister responsible for Housing Rich Coleman announced today.

“Most tenants and landlords in B.C. respect the law, but some deliberately flaunt the rules,” said Coleman. “We will not tolerate those who repeatedly violate rental laws.”

Effective today, the Residential Tenancy Branch can levy administrative penalties against people or companies with repeated and serious violations of the Residential Tenancy Act or the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. Administrative penalties may be as high as $5,000 per contravention and additional penalties may be applied every day the problem goes uncorrected.

With more people than ever making their homes in B.C., it’s important that we have tools in place to ensure landlords and tenants meet their responsibilities,” said Coleman.

Administrative penalties are designed to respond to a variety of situations. For example, landlords may face administrative penalties if they do not maintain their rental units to appropriate standards, or if they repeatedly do not return security deposits at the end of a tenancy. A tenant may face an administrative penalty if they frequently leave their rental unit without giving proper notice or damage their rental units.

Before administrative penalties are applied, the Residential Tenancy Branch will consider the seriousness of the infraction, how often it happened, what efforts were made to correct it and any financial benefit gained from the infraction. Those facing administrative penalties will have an opportunity to review evidence against them and respond before a decision is made. As with dispute resolution decisions, those who receive an administrative penalty have the option of applying to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a review of the penalty.


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